Statement from the LTSU

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Danielle MENGEL

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Statement from the LTSU

Statement from your LTSU re: Respect. Now. Always. Survey

Today the Australian Human Rights Council released their Respect. Now. Always. Survey results. La Trobe’s results were above the national average sitting at a disturbing 56%. The place students were most likely to be sexually harassed was either on public transport (22%) or on University grounds (carparks, walkways, gardens etc) (14%).

The LTSU is deeply horrified by the findings of the survey. It is always been of the LTSU’s belief that everyone has a right to feel safe and secure both on University grounds and in the wider community.
This is why we have worked alongside the University this year to implement a plan to produce more lighting on campus by the end of 2017, and increase the frequency of The Glider, especially on Tuesday nights when students are coming back home from the Stolburg Hotel.

We have also been working tirelessly on the creation of La Trobe’s Speak Up! Service. This is a free, expert, and confidential service where you can report and take the actions you want surrounding sexual assault/harassment on campus. Although the service has many improvements to be made, the LTSU is committed to making it the best possible version it can be. We believe this is the first in many much needed steps to end sexual assault/harassment on campus. All of which, we are prepared to take if it promotes a safe campus.

Education-Vice President, Umukalthum Sheeqey stated, “The results of the survey are concerning and should be a reminder of the work yet to be done regarding this issue. It is not acceptable that sexual harassment/assault is still so prevalent on campuses; there are still many blank spaces in combating sexual harassment/assault and something needs to be done now.” President, Jacob Cripps concurred, “Any sexual assault or harassment is not welcome here at La Trobe. While we have seen significant progress at La Trobe within the past 2 years, we will continue to work alongside the University and hold them accountable in providing the right services to see an end to sexual assault/harassment on campus.”

While it is important to have services available, it is also equally important to educate everyone and clearly define what it means to sexually harass/assault. We look forward to working on and building upon University policy and procedures to better define the terms, and then roll out educational campaigns regarding these prevalent issues. While the LTSU and the University recognises the survey results are unacceptable, this has been a welcomed awakening. We hope to create a more respected, safe environment here at La Trobe for everyone.

We believe everyone deserves to be respected. Now and always.

If you are a victim, bystander or unsure about these issues, don’t stay silent; we all deserve to be safe on campus. There is a safe space for you.

If you are in immediate danger, please contact:

  • Police on 000 (0 000 from office phones) then campus security on ext. 2222 or 9479 2222

If you ever feel unsafe, uncomfortable or unsure of a situation, please contact:

  • University support services for students - Business Hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
    Speak Up: E:
    Ph: (03) 9479 8988
    Counselling Services: For bookings call Albury Wodonga (02) 6024 9627 Bendigo (03) 5444 7223 City (Collins Street) (03) 9479 2956 Melbourne (Bundoora) (03) 9479 2956 Mildura (03) 5051 4083 Online (03) 9479 2956
    Shepparton (03) 5820 8631 Sydney (02) 9397 7600
  • After Hours (5pm to 9am Monday to Friday; public holidays and weekends)
    La Trobe’s Violence Prevention and Support Hotline - Ph: 1300 687 399
  • External support services:
    Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) - Ph: 1800 806 292
    SafeSteps: Family Violence and Response Centre - Ph: 1800 015 188

Jacob Cripps
LTSU President